It is hard for me to believe that I have been in Sydney for several weeks now. Needless to say, this city has definitely lived up to the expectations I had. It’s also been nice to get acclimated to a new university which is quite different from Pitt. Although based in a similar city setting the university is a lot smaller than I had anticipated. It’s unique because you have the chance to get to know the people you’re taking classes with as well as get to know the professors, which have been phenomenal. Also, there are many other universities in the surrounding area which makes it easy to meet students not just from Australia but the whole world. The professors are really invested in ensuring we receive a quality education experience that furthers advancement in our majors while also incorporating field trips so we can learn about the history of Sydney and Australia. I also really like the idea of a global classroom in which students at both the Sydney and London locations will be a collaborating on projects, despite a 9 hour time difference. This is a valuable experience to be had as business continues to be more global.
To me, Sydney really does embody the idea of a global city. There are so many cultures present in Australia and the best way to experience them all is through cuisine. Last week I had the opportunity to go on a food crawl in Newtown, a diverse neighbourhood that is busy day and night. Some of the best food I had, came from Thai and Malaysian restaurants, two types of food I had yet to try. Sports are also another big part of the culture in Sydney with Rugby and Australian rules football being the most popular. Some of these matches garner up to over 50,000 fans at Olympic size stadiums. I was fortunate enough to attend a rugby game which was a lot more brutal than I’d expected, despite the fact they don’t wear and protective gear. Going with that, the surfing culture here is very evident. Australians love to be outdoors and are always talking about what they’re evening and weekend plans are, usually revolving around surfing. In my experience they have a more laid back approach to things and fully embrace the concept of working to live rather than living to work. It’s been refreshing to submerse myself in another culture. What is most shocking to me is how fast my time here is going as our Spring break is next week already. On the bright side I will be heading to New Zealand with some friends to explore some of the cities and take in the sights.
As the Aussies would say, Cheers mates!